Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

Welcome to my world!

Search for Recipes & More!

Subscribe via Email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Still Hungry?
my foodgawker gallery
Search for Recipes & More!


Subscribe to TAA by Email!

Delivered by FeedBurner


Follow the Food

The Pantry

Got a question about the blog, food, NYC or Shaun & me? Shoot us an email at theavidappetite@gmail.com! We try our best to answer any and all things you send our way.















Find out how we cook together in:
You Asked, We're Answering: Cooking

Find out how we dine out in:
You Asked, We're Answering: Restaurant Ed.

Find out how we stock our pantry:
You Asked, We're Answering: Our Go-To Pantry Staples

Read about my go-to snacks (I never leave home without 'em!):
My Go-To Snacks

Read about the tools I just couldn't go without:
Our Top 12 Kitchen Tools

Find out how this girl (me) met her boy (Shaun):
The Story of Girl Meets Boy

Keep up with my weekly FAQ:
What About Me Wednesday

And stay tuned for more updates! Meanwhile, here's a few things to chew on...

Why do you write this blog anyway?
Love of food? Personal fulfillment? A hobby beyond my day job? I had actually always been a burgeoning writer, from creating short stories in 8th grade to becoming an editor of my high school newspaper. Though my passion got lost somewhere along the way, it was rekindled when I decided to start blogging. Why food? I love it. It’s comforting and fun. It brings people together like nothing else since it’s something that everyone is interested in at some level. At the end of the day I write this blog because it makes me happy and I often find myself perma-smiling when someone tells me they read it (and extra teeth-baring when they say they like it!)!

And you make it yourself?
Growing up with an Italian mother, many things revolved around food. Any holiday, party, gathering or dinner has always been all about the food. From an early age, I always served as my mom’s sous chef. I really never had any interest in learning how to cook. Instead, I used the time as a reason to spend time with my mom and sisters, and some of my favorite memories are of us cooking together...or, more realistically, her cooking while I watched and kept her company :) That all changed when I married the love of my life on a beach in Aruba...


...and we found a joint love of the Food Network (coupled with my desire to be an awesome wife who could cook and watch football like a champ). Now I learn by doing (getting my butt in my avid kitchen), watching (so many hours of Ina Garten, Tyler Florence, Rick Bayless, Lydia Bastianich - she is Shaun’s favorite - and many more) and reading (lots of other fantabulous food blogs!). And if I can do it, so can you and you might even develop a full-blown food obsession, just like me!

The bottom line is that I’m not a trained chef or even a very experienced foodie or cook for that matter and sometimes, I feel as though this earthiness is just a fancier way of saying 'Italian Mother in Training.'

Perhaps its in my DNA as my Grandma Mary, who I sadly never had the pleasure of meeting, not only cooked her heart out but also wrote recipes, albeit on scraps of paper and napkins of which my mother recently compiled into a family recipe book (I guess there were no blogs in her time.) This could explain my general dissatisfaction with and utter refusal to follow a line by line recipe without adding my own personal flair. It could also explain my penchant for noodle kugel.

Where do you get inspiration from?
Other great food blogs, cooking shows, magazines, cookbooks (which I often read like literature), suggestions from friends and family, my mom and her amazing domestic godessness, my dad and his ever-unflinching 'you can do anything you want' mantra.

Does Shaun eat like a king?
You’d have to ask him that, but at the very least, he never gets bored! Since I’m always trying to keep things fresh around here, I’m always dishing up new recipes for us to sample.

He does have the patience of a saint, however, in that he always waits until I’m finished food styling and snapping lots of photos for the blog. He doesn’t even flinch when I jump up in the middle of dinner to snap a few more photos under the kitchen lights. Nor does he ever utter even a sigh of exasperation when I ask him to repeatedly snap photos of me in cooking action, asking him to please retake it over and over while I reposition myself so as to mask my double chin. Love ya honey! 

What do you like to go out to eat for?
Shaun is as much of a foodie as I am, if not more so. While there was a time when I’d order the same, familiar dish at restaurants over and over, Shaun broke me out of my shell since he always likes to try new things at new places! Now we have both become samplers, so we will divide and conquer menus to get the most tasting for our buck...and stomach space. We really love all food and try to pick places that have things we don’t usually make at home. You can often find us dining on Italian, Mexican, Indian, Greek, steaks, sushi, good ol’ burgers, pizza, pastrami sandwiches...we really don’t discriminate!

All of that being said, I’m just a girl who likes food - whether at a fancy restaurant, on the street, or cooked at home. If you do too, I hope that you’ll enjoy reading about my culinary adventures (and misadventures) and share some of your own along the way!